Basque runner Maite Maiora finished third last year at the Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon, and she’s back to give this year another shot. In the following interview, Maite talks about her history racing at Zegama, how she got into endurance sports, and what she thinks about this year’s women’s competition.
Read our detailed preview to see who else is racing. Check back in on Sunday for our Zegama Marathon live coverage.
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Maite Maiora Pre-2015 Zegama Marathon Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Maite Maiora before the 2015 Zegama Marathon. How are you?
Maite Maiora: Good, very good, yes.
iRunFar: You ran here last year and you were third. How do you feel about such a great result?
Maiora: I feel great with the result from last year. It’s not any pressure at all because being on the podium at this race is like winning. So we will see what happens on Sunday.
iRunFar: As a Basque runner, is it special to run here at Zegama? Last year was your first time to run at Zegama, yes?
Maiora: No, this is my fifth time at Zegama actually. I’ve finished three times. Once I had an injury and had to be taken off of the course. Then, in the others I was eighth, fifth, and then third.
iRunFar: So this year maybe first?
Maiora: Maybe. I don’t know.
iRunFar: This course is very hard. What was your injury that year?
Maiora: This course is quite technical and complicated. You can see it as you train on it as the times you take are slow. Also the race is slow. That time I got injured, I fell down and dislocated my shoulder.
iRunFar: Where on the course?
Maiora: It was on the downhill called [unknown]. The weather was pretty bad and it was raining and there was a lot of mud. At the moment they couldn’t put my shoulder back in again and, then, it came with the hypothermia, so there goes the whole thing.
iRunFar: What is your history with endurance sports? How long have you been an endurance athlete?
Maiora: I haven’t been doing sports since I was a child. I started running when I was 20-something. What I have been doing all my life is being in the mountains. So when I was in my 20s I started combining running and the mountains. I’ve been trying to get myself involved year after year to this point now.
iRunFar: Last year, you had your most successful year ever with running. What did you change to make yourself so strong? You were second at Transvulcania, third here, and I think you won Limone. You just had a tremendous year. What was the change?
Maiora: I think it’s just day by day and little by little work—all the years involving learning to run and every year taking care a bit more of food and training and resting more. Everything adds up to getting better.
iRunFar: Then this year do you feel even better?
Maiora: That’s a hard question. Last year I was feeling good, and this year I’m feeling good. It’s hard to say. In a race like this, the competition is getting better. It’s super good for the sport but bad for the performance, but it’s great anyway. It’s harder for the podium, but all the competition gets better and there are a lot of new girls. It’s hard to say, but I feel good.
iRunFar: Eskerrik asko.
Maiora: Thank you.